The Florida Panthers are in Ottawa for a Monday night date with the Senators. It’s been a murky couple of games for the Panthers, as the plan of relying on Roberto Luongo didn’t go so well. And that’s likely going to be the issue with the Panthers this season. When Luongo isn’t performing at an elite level the Panthers are going to suffer. The weeks he missed with an injury showcased how important he is to this team.
So, when Luongo allows 10 goals in his last two games, the Panthers were starting at clear losses. The Blue Jackets put up 6 goals on Luongo and then the Rangers scored 4 in a 4-2 win in their last outing. Up to that point, the goaltending was great as soon as he came back from injury. Florida were floundering until Luongo returned to save the day.
For the Panthers, it’s certainly good to see him playing lights out in the crease, but it could be unrealistic to think the 39-year-old Luongo can shoulder the entire load in net this season. However, with James Reimer the next best option, the Panthers are going to have to give Luongo a heavy workout this season.
The Panthers are stuck on the road still, as they have completed three games of their road trip and still need to complete three more before heading home for the Blackhawks on Saturday. That game will be a back-to-back after playing the Hurricanes the night before, so it’s not going to be a fun week for the Panthers, especially with the Lightning on deck Wednesday. The Senators will look to make it three wins in a row after victories over the Red Wings and Penguins. Head below for our free Panthers vs. Senators pick.
Florida Panthers vs. Ottawa Senators Pick
It was another morale boost for the Senators, as they dispatched the stumbling Penguins on Monday, 6-4. The Senators aren’t a perfect team by a long shot, but at least they’re an exciting team to watch. There is also plenty of young talent that should give Ottawa a competitive team in the near future. They must address the blueline and maybe attract an elite goaltender to come here, Craig Anderson isn’t getting any younger, but the future looks bright with Brady Tkachuk and Maxime Lajoie.
The Sens have scored an average of 3.5 goals per game for 3rd in the NHL, just shy of the Colorado Avalanche. If you don’t look at the defensive numbers then all is good. But the ugly side of this team is on defence, where they rank at the bank of the league in nearly every defensive category, including goals against per game with 4.05.
They are also giving up a league low 38.4 shots per game, so while it’s easy to pin it on Anderson, he hasn’t been giving much in the way of support. Anderson holds a 3.55 and 0.907 save percentage, which is good as he might get if the defence doesn’t find a way to get better.
The Sens have scored 3.5 goals per in their previous ten games, but have also given up 4.2 to override the efficient offence. Like noted earlier, Luongo has been struggling in net the last two games, which could just be a case of fatigue on the road for over a week now. Overall, the Panthers have given up 3.24 goals per game as a team, 23rd in the league, though they have tallied a healthy 3.12 goals themselves. It should be an OVER night in Ottawa with the Panthers in town.